Pacific People’s Minister Alfred Ngaro has welcomed the news that Penina Health Trust has become a registered Community Housing Provider.
The trust, which currently provides a range of mental health services, is the first Pacific group to become a Community Housing Provider.
“I’m thrilled to see that Penina has decided to build on the services they already offer and stepped up to take part in social housing,” says Mr Ngaro.
“Pacific people represent about 13% of the housing register and a quarter of social housing tenants so it’s really important that we also have Pacific representation amongst providers.
“Encouraging Pacific groups to become community housing providers has been a key priority for me so I’m thrilled to see Penina coming on board.
“I know the Trust has worked really hard to get to this point so it’s really pleasing to see them meet their goal.
“We’re making sure that social housing is as much about the mix as it is about scale. That way we can offer tenants social housing that is the best fit for their needs.
More families will have a warm and safe place to stay in times of need with the opening of the first stages of an emergency housing development in Otahuhu, Auckland.
The 43-house Luke Street transitional housing development was officially opened today by Prime Minister Bill English.
“Luke Street is the first HNZ purpose built emergency housing development under the Government’s $303.6 million emergency housing funding announced in November 2016,” Social Housing Minister Amy Adams says.
“This approach focuses on bringing a mix of housing configurations to market quickly to provide short-term housing options for families while they wait for more permanent housing. It’s part of delivering on our goal of providing 2150 emergency housing places capable of supporting 8600 families each year.
“This development is another example of how the Government is delivering new housing for homeless and vulnerable New Zealanders.”
“Back in October, the Luke Street land was an empty lot that in the future will be used for a school,” Associate Social Housing Minister Alfred Ngaro says.
“Today, after only a few short months, we have the first families moving in. These three families had previously been living in motels and garages, and are now moving in to warm, safe places close to their children’s schools and where they’ll be supported for anywhere between 12 and 24 weeks before moving into more sustainable housing options.”
“It’s great to see how the Government’s $303.6 million funding is making a difference in the community,” Mr Ngaro says.
When complete, around 210 people, mainly families with children, will be housed in the Luke Street properties. Three houses are now tenanted, with another nine being tenanted within a matter of weeks. The remaining 31 houses will be completed in stages over the coming weeks.
Three housing providers, Monte Cecelia Trust, The Salvation Army and VisionWest Community Trust, are in discussions to co-manage the care and support services that will be provided to families during their stay at Luke Street.
Pacific People’s Minister Alfred Ngaro says Pacific language weeks give all New Zealanders the chance to celebrate our diversity.
“The dates for our seven Pacific language weeks are now set and I’d love to see kiwis using these weeks as an opportunity to celebrate our Pacific cultures and all that they contribute to modern New Zealand,” Mr Ngaro says.
“In my family we have three Pacific languages and cultures; Cook Island, Vagahau Niue and Gagana Samoa but I’ll be making a special effort to learn more phrases from some of the other heavenly languages of the Pacific.
There are nearly 300,000 people in New Zealand who identify as Pacific. It is the youngest and fastest growing section of our population. By 2026 People of Pacific Island descent will make up 10 per cent of New Zealand’s population.
“Pacific cultures are an integral part of New Zealand’s identity. It’s important that we recognise their contribution in a meaningful way.”
The 2017 Pacific Language Week line-up is:Samoa Language Week: Sunday 28 May – Saturday 3 June 2017 Cook Islands Language Week: Sunday 30 July – Saturday 5 August 2017 Tonga Language Week: Sunday 3 September – Saturday 9 September 2017 Tuvalu Language Week: Sunday 1 October – Saturday 7 October 2017 Fiji Language Week: Sunday 8 October – Sunday 14 October 2017 Niue Language Week: Sunday 15 October – Saturday 21 October 2017 Tokelau Language Week: Sunday 29 October – Saturday 4 November 2017
“There are plenty of activities planned for these weeks. I encourage everyone to mark the dates in the family diary and get out there and celebrate,” Mr Ngaro says.
Pacific Peoples Minister Alfred Ngaro has expressed his condolences to the Tongan Royal Family today following the passing of Queen Mother Halaevalu Mata’aho.
“Oku mau fie kaungā mamahi moe Fale ‘o Tupou mo Ha’a Moheofo pehe ki he hou’eiki mo e kainga Tonga kotoa pe, ‘i he po’uli kuo tō ‘i Tonga kotoa ‘a e hala ‘a e Ta’ahine Kuini Fehuhu, Kuini Halaevalu Mata’aho, ko e fehuhu ‘ofeina ‘o Tonga. Tauange ke ne toka ‘i he nonga mo e fiemalie ‘a e ‘Otua,” says Mr Ngaro.
“The Queen Mother worked tirelessly in the background leading negotiations with her late husband and her sons. Her work behind the scenes is more visible in the support for the three Kings; Tupou IV (her husband), Tupou V (her son) and Tupou VI (her son) and this speaks volumes about her dedication and love for her people.
“The Queen Mother had a strong connection with Tongan community groups and families here in New Zealand.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Tongan Royal Family, nobles, the people of Tonga and the members of the Tuingapapai, Free Wesley Church of Tonga in Māngere, where she was a member.”
Pacific Peoples Minister Alfred Ngaro is saddened by the tragedy that occurred on the road to Gisborne last night.
“It is particularly tragic that this group from Vava'u, Tonga was visiting Gisborne to celebrate Christmas and participate in fundraising festivities. Instead, they are now mourning the loss of two of their group and supporting others who are injured and in hospital,” says Mr Ngaro.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire group and their families both here and back home in Tonga.
“We will be working with them and with the community in Gisborne over coming days to ensure they are supported through this terrible event.”
Mr Ngaro will be travelling to Gisborne today and will be meeting with members of the Tongan group and the local Tongan community.
Pacific Peoples Minister Alfred Ngaro has announced a number of appointments and reappointments to the Pasifika Education Centre Trust Board (PEC).
PEC is a long standing Pacific community education provider based in Auckland. The Trustees appointed are Mele Wendt (Chair), Sefita Hao’uli, Janitta Pilisi, Professor Tania Ka’ai, Everdina Fuli and Annette Karepa.
“I am pleased that the Pasifika Education Centre has entered into an agreement with Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) to strengthen the delivery of Pacific languages education in New Zealand,” says Mr Ngaro.
Earlier this year, MIT opened the Pasifika Community Centre at their campus in Manukau. MIT’s commitment to strengthening Pasifika communities closely aligns with PEC’s role to preserve, maintain and promote Pacific languages in New Zealand.
Funding from the Ministry of Education has been confirmed for 2017 to support PEC’s transition and relocation to MIT’s Pasifika Community Centre.
PEC’s community language programmes will form part of the wider suite of language courses being provided at MIT, which will be supported by the Tertiary Education Commission’s investment in MIT.
Background information on the Board and its members
The Pasifika Education Centre is a charitable trust and private training establishment, whose role is to preserve, maintain and promote the use of Pacific languages in New Zealand. It is administered by a Board of Trustees.
Mele Wendt (Chair) has been a trustee since January 2014 and brings governance and leadership skills. She is the Founding Director of Scholarship Services Aotearoa Lts and provides consulting services through her own agency ‘Mele Wendt Consulting’ in the areas of leadership, governance, Pacific development, and diversity strategies.
Sefita Hao’uli has over 25 years’ experience establishing and managing multi-ethnic and multi-lingual broadcasting and media organisations. He has also been actively involved in various community agencies and is aware of issues impacting on Pasifika communities.
Jannitta Pilisi provides consultancy services in a variety of areas and is a member of Pacific Poppies, an association encouraging excellence in entrepreneurship and careers.
Annette Karepa is Director of Le Anuanua Consultancy Lts, which specialises in educational services and organisational strengthening, and has experience in governance and all levels of education.
Everdina Fuli is Business Manager at Te Whare Kura, a research institute at University of Auckland focusing on multi-disciplinary research on Māori and Pacific communities.
Professor Tania Ka’ai is Director of Te Ipukarea - the National Māori Language Institute at Auckland University of Technology, working with Pacific communities on language revitalisation strategies through digital technologies.
Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of our communities with 97 per cent of all New Zealand enterprises employing 20 or fewer people.
National knows that it is businesses that drive economic growth and build a more successful economy with more jobs and higher wages for Kiwis.
That’s why since coming into office the National-led Government has been focused on supporting a competitive and productive economy. It’s why we are continuously searching out ways to reduce the financial and time burdens that small businesses face.
We have, for example, cut ACC levies, introduced 90-day trials and a starting-out wage, and funded the roll-out of faster broadband. We’ve set up free online tools and advice from across government to save you time and help make your business a success. And in Budget 2016 we introduced a SME friendly tax package.
We’re responsibly managing the Government’s books and have posted the second surplus in a row. New Zealand is now just one of a very small group of countries that has the books in surplus and a growing economy.
Our policies are helping keep the cost of living low and interest rates at near record lows making it easier for small businesses to invest and employ more people.
A survey of 1000 small and medium-sized enterprises reveals 57 per cent regard National as the best party for their business to succeed. The Labour Party was back on 10 per cent. MYOB, the business software firm which conducted the survey, says it shows real confidence in Prime Minister John Key and Finance Minister Bill English and the economic environment they are creating.
The positive sentiment is borne out in other recent data. New Zealand now tops the World Bank rankings for ease of doing business. The No. 1 ranking highlights the good work this Government is doing to reduce the cost of doing business. The World Bank report also notes New Zealand’s strength in procurement through our online procurement process and that we have made paying taxes easier and cheaper.
Statistics New Zealand reports most industries and regions have more businesses and staff than last year. And the ANZ survey of job advertisements shows the numbers keep going up with a strong lift in employment intentions in many of the regions.
The services sector, which makes up 70 per cent of the economy, and manufacturing are both expanding and have the highest growth against the likes of Australia, Japan, China, the UK, Europe and the United States.
Thanks to the entrepreneurship and hard work of New Zealanders supported by the Government’s economic plan and responsible financial management our economy is growing with more jobs, and rising wages.
Locals have a great opportunity to contribute to local conservation initiatives and help protect Te Atatū’s environment, says National List MP Alfred Ngaro.
“Conservation week starts tomorrow and enables children, parents, schools and communities to get involved with local conservation efforts,” says Mr Ngaro.
“There are over 100 activities taking place throughout the country as part of the week. These events build on the Department of Conservation’s (DOC) Healthy Nature, Healthy People theme, as spending time in nature has been shown to improve mental and physical wellbeing.
“It’s an especially great opportunity for young New Zealanders. Research shows children who connect with nature are more likely to want to save it in the future, so I urge parents around the region to take their young ones to local events and give them a chance to contribute to the local environment.
“I’m thrilled to see there are some great events in Te Atatū. I’m looking forward to attending the Harbourview Weeding Bee tomorrow on the Peninsula. This is one of many events organised by the Forest and Bird Motu Manawa Restoration Group throughout the year I’ve been involved with.”
Peninsula Brownies will be running a rubbish collection clean up along the Harbourview Walkway at 10am next Sunday, starting from Harbourview Peoples Park.
“Everyone has a role to play in protecting nature and promoting conservation, and the National-led Government believes supporting community conservation efforts is a great way to strengthen New Zealanders’ bond with nature,” says Mr Ngaro.
“We launched the $26 million DOC Community Fund, and forged commercial partners worth $80 million for conservation groups over the last five years.
“Conservation week is also a great opportunity for locals to contribute to Government initiatives such as Predator Free 2050, Battle for Our Birds 2016, the War on Weeds and other vital programmes.”
To find out more about conservation week, visit www.doc.govt.nz/conservationweek.